A Part of Genealogy Express
Delaware County, Ohio

History & Genealogy

20th century history of Delaware County, Ohio
and representative citizens
Chicago, Ill. :: Biographical Pub. Co., 1908 by James R. Lytle
Transcribed by Sharon Wick


Settlement and Organization of the Townships - Settlement and Founding of the Towns
Sketches of Ashley, Galena, Sunbury, Ostrander, Lewis Center, Powell, Radnor, and other towns.
Pg. 435




     This township was set off June 8, 1813, and is designated as No. 5 in the original survey.  It is five miles square, and contains 16,000 acres of land.  It is bounded on the north by Morrow County; mi the east by Porter Township; on the south by Berkshire Township, and on the west by Brown.  The surface of the land is generally quite level, though in the southern and eastern portions it is more undulating.  As in other parts of the county, the most fertile lands are those which border the streams.  While the grain crops do well in this township, the general character of the soil makes it better adapted for grass and grazing than for growing crops. Originally the land was heavily wooded with all the varieties of hardwoods that grow in this part of the State.  The rich bottom lands were covered with spice bush, black haws and paw-paw underbrush; wild plums, grapes and crab apples also grew spontaneously and in great abundance.  These constituted all the luxuries of the early pioneers and in most cases were all he desired.  These fruits, besides being used fresh in various ways, were also dried for use in the winter season, or preserved in maple sugar, this and wild honey being the only sweetening they had.  Young horses and cattle were often wintered in these swails. and managed somehow to come through without grain or dry feed.  The hogs were allowed to run at large, at first without brands or ear-marks, and these fed and fattened on acorn and beech-nut mast.  In a few years these animals had increased so rapidly that they came to be regarded as public property, and anyone feeling in need of pork was at liberty to help himself.
     Kingston is amply supplied with springs and streams of pure water, sufficient for home use and for stock.  Alum Creek is the largest stream and runs across the northwestern corner of the township.  Little Walnut Creek is the next stream in size.  It enters the township on the north about a mile and a half west of the north-east corner.  It runs in a southerly direction, dividing the township into two nearly equal parts.  It has numerous small tributaries, which are helpful in draining the township.  Other streams are Butler Run, west of and nearly parallel with Little Walnut, Indigo Run is in the northeastern part of the township, and Taylor Run flows in the southeastern portion.  Butler Swamp, the source of the run of that name, took its name from a man named Butler, who settled near it in 1807.  It was supposed that this land would never be fit for farming, but clearing up and drainage has demonstrated the fact that it is not only tillable, but very fertile.
     John Phipps was the first settler in this township.  He came about 1807, and located in the southeastern part of the township, on or near Little Walnut.  Little is known of him because he remained here only a short time before he returned East with his family.  The same year, two brothers, Abraham and James Anway,  came from Pennsylvania and settled in the same part of the township where Phipps had been.  They raised large families.  Soon after these men came George Hess from the same State, and located in the same neighborhood.  He lived on the farm which he cleared until his death in 1835.  He was married but had no children.  The property afterwards was owned by Ceptor Stark.  In 1809 came James Stark, John Rosecrans and his four sons, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and John; Dr. Daniel Rosecrans and his four sons, Nathaniel, Jacob, Purlemas and Crandall, and Joseph Patrick and wife.  James Stark selected a farm of about 200 acres in the eastern part of the township.  For many years he entertained travelers at his house, which was the only hotel or tavern ever kept in the town-

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ship.  The Sunbury and Mansfield roads crossed on his farm, and the locality came to have the name of Stark's Corners.  He married a Miss Wilcox before coming here, whose family connection was very numerous, and he, having the confidence of a very wide acquaintance, was able to induce many settlers to come into the county.  By a former marriage he had three daughters.  One married a Mr. Perfect, of Trenton Township; one married Dr. Bigelow, of Galena, and the third married Benjamin Carpenter of the same town.  They all had large families.  By his second marriage he had one son, James N. Stark, who at one time owned two thousand acres of farm lands in Kingston and Porter Townships.  Joseph Patrick was a remarkable man, having unusual intellectual ability, but he was afflicted with an impediment in his speech.  He was well versed in history, and was successful as a business man.  He accummulated a large fortune for his day, and by honest methods.  Among the positions of trust with which he was honored was that of county treasurer.  He removed to Berkshire Township at an early day.  He married Sarah Taylor, daughter of Daniel Taylor, who emigrated from the Wyoming Valley in Pennsylvania, and settled in the southeastern part of the township on the run which later was railed by his name.
     Dr. Daniel Rosecrans first located on Little Walnut Creek.  Later he sold this and bought a farm on Taylor's Run.  He was the first justice of the peace in the township.  His son Crandall married Jemima Hopkins, who was related to Stephen Hopkins, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.  They had three sons, the eldest of whom was Major-General William Stark Rosecrans, who won fame as a general in the war for the Union.  A sketch of him will be found in the chapter devoted to the military history of the county. Sylvester, another of the sons, also became distinguished, but in a different sphere.  After graduating from West Point, lie joined the Roman Catholic Church, went to Rome for his theological training, became a bishop and was placed in charge of the Diocese of Columbus, he was noted for his great executive ability, his scholarship and his eloquence in the pulpit.
     Previous to our second struggle with England, Solomon Steward, who had served in the Revolution, came here from the Green Mountain State.  In 1815 he married Nancy White, a sister of Mrs. Benjamin Benedict, and soon alter settled in Porter Township.  In 1812 Peter Van Sickle came with his young family from New Jersey.  He located on land in the southernmost part of the township west of Little Walnut.  He had two sons, William G. and Asa, and four daughters.  The oldest daughter married Hon. Almon Stark, who for years was an associate judge of our Common Pleas Court.  The youngest daughter became the wife of R. J. Lott.  At his death Peter Van Sickle left quite an estate, besides giving his children much financial help as they started out in life.  In 1814 two brothers, Richard and Charles Hodgden, emigrated from Connecticut and settled in this township.  They "bached" it for a while together.   Finally Richard married a Miss Place and Charles married a Miss Blackman, and after she died he married a Miss Brockover and moved to Union County.  John White, from West Virginia, also came here in 1814.  He purchased 1,000 acres of land, the northeast quarter of Section 1.  He had a large family, some of whom had reached maturity, and these soon married and settled in the neighborhood.  Mr. White immediately became prominent and influential in the township.  John Van Sickle a cousin of Peter Van Sickle came into the township about 1815.  Both these men brought sufficient means with them to enable them to have such comforts and conveniences as were possible under pioneer conditions.  John Van Sickle married Susannah Wicker, who was a native of the same county in New Jersey.  They bad eight children, all of whom were married and reared families.  David was a farmer in Kingston; Peter had a farm in Porter Township; William W. resided in Delaware; Elizabeth married George Blaney, of Porter Township; Mary married Charles Wilcox. of Porter; Esther married a Mr. Knox, and spent her life in Trenton Township; Dru-

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silla married Dr. H. Bessee, and Jane married Lewis Buck, of Morrow County.  John Van Sickle carried on farming on a large scale.  Upon arriving at age, each of the children received from him 100 acres of land.  He built a dam and a grist- and saw-mill near Sunbury, and carried this on along with his farming.  He was a consistent and active member of the Presbyterian Church, and with Dr. Fowler; father was one of the founders and main-stays of the Old Blue Church at East Liberty.  He spent his declining years in that village.  Benjamin Benedict settled on a 150-acre farm about one mile below the center of the town, on Little Walnut in 1815.  He married a daughter of John White.  They had two sons, Nelson and Sturgis Benjamin Benedict died in 1877, at the advanced age of eighty-eight years.  He was highly esteemed by his neighbors for his industrious and honorable life.  In 1816 a man named Waldron also came into the township.  He was from New York.  His four sons were George, who lived in Brown Township; Richard, William and Jonas.  The next year Joseph Lott came from Luzerne county, Pennsylvania, and settled on the East Branch of Little Walnut Creek.  He reared two sons and two daughters.  Riley T. and Josiah were farmers in Kingston.  His oldest daughter became Mrs. William G. Van Sickle, and Eliza, the youngest daughter, married Ezekiel Longwell.  In 1817, also, John Hall located on a wild tract of 100 acres on the Little Walnut.  He married one of the daughters of John White, from whom he had purchased his farm.  They had four children.  Mrs. John J. Wilcox was their only daughter.  William, their oldest son, went to Iowa where he practiced law.  George W. also went West, where he engaged in farming, and John W. made his home in Delaware.  Hiram Cuykendall, a veteran of both wars with England, settled on a farm in this township in 1820.  He died nearly seventy years ago at a great age.  Thomas and James Carney, two brothers, came from Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, Thomas in 1820 and James in 1823.  They were both hard workers and set about clearing farms.  Thomas married one of the Lott girls, and James brought his wife, who was Jane Ostrander before her marriage, with him to the township.  Both brothers raised families.  Moses Decker came from New Jersey to Kingston in 1820.  He settled in the eastern part of the township, near his brother-in-law, Isaac Finch, who had preceded him from the same State.  Mr. Decker was a soldier in the War of 1812, was the first postmaster of Kingston, a justice of the peace for a number of years, and prominent and well known throughout the county.  He married a daughter of Hiram CuykendallMoses Decker was a carpenter and millwright, and built many of the early mills in the county.  The first frame barn in the township was built by Elder Wigton on his farm.  It was framed, raised and completed by Mr. Decker.  It was a never-failing custom in those days to serve liquor of some kind, usually whiskey, at all raisings.  On this occasion Mr. Decker forbade that any liquor be brought on the ground.  It was thought that failure to provide this energizer would result in the people staying away, but help enough came, and the first attempt at raising the barn was successful.  This was in 1827, and while the structure that was erected on that occasion has long since crumbled into dust, Mr. Decker's influence for temperance is still at work, and Kingston still holds the reputation it long ago earned for the temperance and sobriety of its inhabitants.  Mr. Decker lived to be upwards of ninety, and left numerous descendants in the county.  Oliver Stark came from Pennsylvania to Kingston in 1825, being then twenty-four years of age.  Four years later he married the first white child born in Kingston Township, Eliza Patrick, the daughter of Joseph Patrick. Oliver Stark was successful and prominent in his day.  He was justice of the peace for twenty-one years, and served as county commissioner for three years from 1846-49.  He left a large estate when he died, which was shared bya number of descendants.
     Other early settlers were Gilbert Potter and family who came from West Virginia in 1817, and purchased John Hall's first farm from him.  A few years later, William Gas-

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, his brother-in-law, came from the same county and settled near by.  He was followed within a few years by his brother John Gaston. The district where they settled came to be known as the "Virginia District."  Daniel Maxwell, who by his first marriage with one of the Farris sisters, was a brother-in-law of the Gastons and Potter, settled on a farm near the center of the township.  He married for his second wife, a Miss Haslett.  He was a typical Virginia gentleman, intelligent, a consistent member of the Presbyterian Church, who was held in high esteem.  For twenty years before his death he filled the office of justice of the peace, in which office he was succeeded by his son, William H. MaxwellJames Gaston, a native of the Emerald Isle and a relative of the Gastons we have mentioned, also settled in the "Virginia District."  Elder Thomas Wigton came here from Pennsylvania in 1814, and settled on a hundred acres near the center of the township.  He was a local preacher in the Baptist Church, but being broad-minded and tolerant of the views of others, he was popular with members of other churches than his own, for whom he often preached.  In 1834 John Haslett came to Kingston from Augusta County, Virginia.  He purchased 150 acres from Isaac Rosecrans in the east part of the township.  He was a local preacher in the Methodist Church.  Of good mental ability, kindly disposition, noted for his southern hospitality, he was an enthusiastic and effective preacher.  In 1834 Henry Sheets with his large and grown-up family settled in the woods in the northwestern part of the township.  He had seven sons, the youngest of whom, Jacob Sheets, was for many years a justice of the peace.  In 1824 Daniel Terrill immigrated to Kingston Township and settled on a farm in the southwest quarter-section.  He was from Essex County, New Jersey.
     Representatives of nearly all the nationalities that helped to establish the original thirteen colonies were to be found among the pioneers of Kingston Township: Puritans from New England, Dutch from Pennsylvania and New Jersey, English from the latter State and from Virginia, and Scotch-Irish from Pennsylvania and West Virginia.  Their common dangers and common necessities tended to suppress the controversies that would naturally arise among people so radically different in racial characteristics, religion, temperament, habits of thought, manners and customs.  They dwelt in harmony, their children intermarried, and today we have in the citizenship of Kingston Township, a race of men and women that for physical, mental or moral excellence are the peers of any other community.
     The present (1908) township officials are:  J. J. Stark and Bert White, justices of the peace: E. C. Owen, F. P. McVey, and R. M. Van Sickle, trustees; L. S. Owen, treasurer; S. T. Hutchisson, assessor; Harry Benedict and O. S. Wilcox, constables.



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